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Nationwide CCW permit reciprocity - A few step in the right direction

nation wide ccw reciprocity

With the Senate proposing its S 498 bill designed to expand reciprocity map of concealed carry permits across all states and House of Representatives proposing their own version in HR 402 – is nationwide concealed carry closer than we think?

At present, there is a convoluted series of antiquated laws governing each state's ability to issue and recognize out-of-state travelers. With some states, such as California, having some of the most restrictive conditions on who may or may not conceal carry a firearm, it has many weapons advocates hailing this 114th Congress' measure as a great step in the right direction.

In previous articles, we've discussed the concept of Constitutional Carry, conceal carry resources and various other delineations for when and where one may or may not conceal carry a firearm. But when have we ever had the opportunity to discuss the potential ramifications of nationwide concealed carry permit reciprocity?

Not All States Require Concealed Carry Permits

As more and more people look to take their personal defense into their own hands, it's important to note how confusing and sometimes disastrous it is for non-permitted non-residents to cross state lines with a concealed carry weapon. Whereby a New Hampshire resident – about to hopefully become a new constitutional carry state – walks into Vermont (the first constitutional carry state), no issue ensues. However if that same resident were to cross the state line into Massachusetts, it could be potentially disastrous.

So how do states parse the need to have equivalency in concealed carry permitting standards when a growing number of states don't even require a concealed carry permit to begin with?

In short – they can't.

Fifty States of Gray

The present policy is for each of the 50 states to individually determine which other state they will acknowledge concealed carry permits from. The major issue with this is 50 states often equivocate to 50 wildly differing opinions. In the middle are often law abiding citizens simply wishing to navigate a state line while having the right to protect themselves.

And even as more states push for permitless constitutional carry of a concealed firearm, states such as Tennessee have rebutted this trend by striking down their own Constitutional Carry.

So even as Idaho, West Virginia, New Hampshire and others seek to remove the permitting process (or greatly simplify it), other states are still adamant about having their own individual standards to uphold.

In the middle of all of this are states which are terribly restrictive on who can even obtain a concealed carry permit in the first place – such as New York, Massachusetts, and California. And while the District of Columbia and Illinois used to be on that list, they are still very picky about who they choose to acknowledge for their concealed carry permit process.

In states with overlapping and confusing boundaries – such as in New England and around the District of Columbia – people who have a legitimate desire to carry their weapons on them still face some serious backlash.

Add insult to injury, many Americans are still uncomfortable or confused about seeing someone carrying a firearm in a handgun holster. In this article, we discuss how to deal with a person or party who may attempt to stop a law abiding citizen from freely moving about with a concealed carry weapon. There's no easy answers, that's for sure.

James England

About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.